While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 22 edition

Kerry postpones Paris trip to stay at Vienna nuclear talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday postponed his trip to Paris to continue talks with his Iranian counterpart at international nuclear negotiations in Vienna, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Kerry "has delayed his departure from Vienna, Austria in order to continue consultations" with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, Psaki said in a statement to reporters, adding he would stay here overnight.

Zarif said, meanwhile, that world powers made no "significant" new proposals in the talks, aimed at defusing a 12-year standoff over Iran's suspect nuclear programme, ahead of a Monday deadline.

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China building massive island in South China Sea that could host airfield, says US

China is building a massive island in the South China Sea that could host an airfield in an area where Beijing is locked in bitter territorial disputes with neighbouring states, a US military spokesman said Friday.

The vast land reclamation project on the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands is one of several pursued by China but the first that could accommodate an airstrip, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Pool said.

A harbour also has been dug out on the east side of the reef that appears large enough for tankers and naval warships.

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Syria IS militants are cracking down on would-be deserters, say activists

Several foreign militants who joined the Islamic State (IS) in Syria but then tried to desert have faced arrest and execution at the hands of the radical group, activists said Friday.

Those who have tried to flee are usually young and mostly non-Arabs who regretted joining IS once they saw the reality on the ground, several activists told AFP via the Internet.

"Fleeing is extremely difficult," said activist Furat al-Wafaa, adding that those who get caught are "slaughtered, of course".

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US prisoner on death row for murder he did not commit is freed after 39 years

A 57-year-old US prisoner who was sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit walked free from court on Friday after spending 39 years behind bars, prosecutors said.

Ricky Jackson was only 18 in 1975, when he was convicted of murder in Cleveland, Ohio.

His prosecution was based largely on testimony of a 12-year-old witness who later admitted he had not seen the crime and had given a false statement.

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Tunisian wins Muslim beauty pageant in Indonesia, calls for free Palestine

A Tunisian woman called for a free Palestine as she won a pageant exclusively for Muslims in Indonesia on Friday, seen as a riposte to Western beauty contests.

Eighteen finalists, including a doctor and a computer scientist, paraded in glittering dresses against the backdrop of world-renowned ancient temples for the contest in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

Computer scientist Fatma Ben Guefrache was announced the winner and received a prize which included a gold watch, a gold dinar, and mini pilgrimage to Mecca.

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